Chris Gardner, Director of Home & Garden at eBay said: “It’s great to see that shoppers are still keen to celebrate Halloween, albeit a little differently this year. We have seen items such as window projectors and balloons soar in comparison to this time last year as customers look to decorate the exterior of their homes for others to enjoy from a social distance.

“It’s also great to see that dressing up is still taking place this year, as we’ve seen people purchasing costumes from their favourite films.”

John Lewis and Waitrose report similar increased demand for Halloween items, with sales of its carving pumpkins up by more than 40 per cent compared to last year, atmospheric lighting up 57 per cent and candle holders by 16 per cent..

Beth Adams, Assistant Buyer of Stationery and Partyware at John Lewis: “We’ve seen high demand for Halloween decorations at John Lewis compared to last year, with more people celebrating the spookiest night of the year at home or in their garden.”

Sainsbury’s also reported a spike in interest in the grim and ghoulish. A spokesman for the supermarket giant said: “We are 18 per cent up on outdoor decorations in comparison to last year. In general we’ve also seen a trend of people investing in bigger decorations for their home in the same way they would invest items for Christmas.”

There had already been a trend in recent years for British families to adopt the US practice of draping cobwebs over roofs and windows and placing giant pumpkins and skeletons in front gardens.

But reports suggest 2020 could see even more Britons embracing the delights of all things that go bump in the night.

One survey found that Britons even appear to prefer Halloween to Christmas, with more than half (55 per cent) saying they prefer October 31 to December 25 and determined to go ahead with their ghostly celebrations despite Covid restrictions.

More than two thirds (70 per cent) say they will dress up at home, with 46 per cent planning to decorate their house.

In Glasgow’s Battlefield district locals have set up a Halloween trail of spooky window lighting displays for families to follow around the area, to make up for the postponement of the annual lantern parade

Not that this kind of thing is to everyone’s liking.

A local councillor who decorated his house in Bexhill, East Sussex, for Halloween was asked to remove his ghosts and ghouls for fear they were scaring “children and the vulnerable”. Ashan Jeeawon, 42, who works as a property stylist, was told his floating skeleton displays (pictured below) were “detrimental to the mental health of the community”.

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